Instigator / Pro
14
1497
rating
11
debates
27.27%
won
Topic

(CON picks topic) CON driven debate.

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
6
0
Sources points
4
2
Spelling and grammar points
2
1
Conduct points
2
0

With 2 votes and 11 points ahead, the winner is ...

ComputerNerd
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Miscellaneous
Time for argument
One week
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
10,000
Contender / Con
3
1482
rating
2
debates
50.0%
won
Description
~ 151 / 5,000

Basically, anyone can put a topic in the comments, and I will choose the one I want to debate personally.

Bored and have no ideas for debate. Hit me!

Round 1
Pro
Thank you Vidur for the topic.

TOPIC: THBT COVID-19 was made naturally

DEFINITIONS:

Made: (2) artificially produced (Link)
Lab: : a place equipped for experimental study in a science or for testing and analysis (Link)
COVID-19: A highly contagious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. (Link)

   FRAMEWORK:
Burden of Proof
When two parties are in a discussion and one makes a claim that the other disputes, the one who makes the claim typically has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim especially when it challenges a perceived status quo. This is also stated in Hitchens's razor, which declares that "what may be asserted without evidence, may be dismissed without evidence. (Wiki)
Therefore, the majority of the burden of proof is on CON. However, I will be making some arguments against the motion. 

NOTE: I will be referring to the claim that Covid was started in a lab as the "lab-leak theory"

LAB LEAK THEORY: 
It's a suspicion that the coronavirus may have escaped, accidentally or otherwise, from a laboratory in the central Chinese city of Wuhan where the virus was first recorded. (Source) 

ARGUMENT 1: An expert opinion

The World Health Organization (WHO) has investigated this theory, and dismissed it. As said by several members of WHO and other organizations: 

Peter Ben Embarek, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) mission, said it was "extremely unlikely" that the virus spread from a lab leak in the city of Wuhan.
He said more work was needed to identify the source of the virus.
-------------------------------------------
The experts also said there was "no indication" that the virus was circulating in Wuhan before the first official cases were recorded there in December 2019.
Liang Wannian, an expert with China's Health Commission, said Covid-19 could have been in other regions before it was detected in Wuhan.
------------------------------------------
The team called for further investigation into the possibility of "cold chain" transmission, referring to the transport and trade of frozen food.
Dr Peter Daszak, a member of the WHO team, said the focus on where the origins that led to Covid-19 might be, could be shifted to South East Asia.
-----------------------------------------
"We've done a lot of work in China and if you map that back it starts to point towards the border and we know that there is very little surveillance on the other side in the whole region of South East Asia," he told the BBC's John Sudworth in Wuhan.
-----------------------------------------
China is a very big place and South East Asia is a very big place. The supply chains to the Huanan seafood market were extensive, they were coming in from other countries, they were coming in from various parts of China, so to really trace that back it's going to take some work (SOURCE)
ARGUMENT 2: Opposing evidence

paper posted online earlier this month chiefly by researchers at France’s Institut Pasteur and under consideration for publication in a Nature journal, however, reports that three viruses were found in bats living in caves in northern Laos with features very similar to SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19.
-------------------
As Nature reported, those viruses are “more similar to SARS-CoV-2 than any known viruses.”
------------------
Another paper, posted in late August by researchers from the Wuhan lab, reports on viruses found in rats also with features similar to those that make SARS-CoV-2 infectious in humans. Two other papers published on the discussion forum virological.org present evidence that the virus jumped from animals to humans at more than one animal market in Wuhan, not just the Huanan seafood market.
-----------------
Given that these so-called wet markets have long been suspected as transmission points of viruses from animals to humans because they sell potentially infected animals, that makes the laboratory origin vastly less likely, according to a co-author of one of the papers.
----------------
“That a laboratory leak would find its way to the very place where you would expect to find a zoonotic transmission is quite unlikely,” Joel Wertheim, an associate professor at UC San Diego’s medical school, told me. “To have it find its way to multiple markets, the exact place where you would expect to see the introduction, is unbelievably unlikely.”
---------------
As virologist Robert F. Garry of Tulane, one of Wertheim’s co-authors, told Nature, the finding is “a dagger into the heart” of the lab-leak hypothesis.
I'm going to end off here, and respond to arguments in R2.
Con
Thanks, Adrian, for selecting me as your opponent. 
 
Motion: THBT COVID-19 was made naturally (Con)
 
The Hindu Business Line claims in an article it published on November 7th:
The lab leak theory was more plausible. The bats that arehosts to the Covid-19 virus live in the Yunnan caves in Southern China, morethan 1,000 miles away from Wuhan, home to several microbiology labs, includingthe Wuhan Institute of Virology.

This paragraph mentions that the bats that are claimed tohave started the virus lived in caves near Yunnan are more than 1000 miles awayfrom Wuhan, so it is unlikely that bats are the main cause of COVID-19, if it,indeed originated from Wuhan. However, Wuhan has a lot of microbiologylaboratories, the Wuhan Institute of Virology is one of them. 


Here, my opponent doesn’t give the source of the article,which is Oxford University’s paper. It concluded that no bats or pangolins weresold in Wuhan’s wet market from 2017 to 2019.
Given that these so-called wet markets have long beensuspected as transmission points of viruses from animals to humans because theysell potentially infected animals, that makes the laboratory origin vastly lesslikely, according to a co-author of one of the papers.
Since neither bats nor pangolins were sold, it proves that COVID-19 started from a lab, and not from a transmit from animals to humans.

Points:  

In a CIDRAP paper published by the University of Minnesota, it says:

In it, we argue that recent experiments that create novel, highly virulent and transmissible pathogens against which there is no human immunity are unethical.
This adds to the points that COVID is one of the many viruses that were created in a lab. 

Also, late in 2019, one of the Wuhan Institute of Virology's zoologist mentioned in a rare press interview that the COVID-19 virus has been created in a lab. 

I hope these are enough points to prove that COVID-19 had been created accidentally in a lab
Round 2
Pro
Thank you Vidur,

REBUTTALS:

 
The Hindu Business Line claims in an article it published on November 7th:
The lab leak theory was more plausible. The bats that arehosts to the Covid-19 virus live in the Yunnan caves in Southern China, more than 1,000 miles away from Wuhan, home to several microbiology labs, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

This paragraph mentions that the bats that are claimed tohave started the virus lived in caves near Yunnan are more than 1000 miles awayfrom Wuhan, so it is unlikely that bats are the main cause of COVID-19, if it,indeed originated from Wuhan. However, Wuhan has a lot of microbiologylaboratories, the Wuhan Institute of Virology is one of them. 

CON here focuses on only one of my quotations. A deeper look at it would have revealed:
Another paper, posted in late August by researchers from the Wuhan lab, reports on viruses found in rats also with features similar to those that make SARS-CoV-2 infectious in humans. Two other papers published on the discussion forum virological.org present evidence that the virus jumped from animals to humans at more than one animal market in Wuhan, not just the Huanan seafood market.
This observation that the disease has been noticed in rats and other animal markets defeats CON's argument. 

In a CIDRAP paper published by the University of Minnesota, it says:

In it, we argue that recent experiments that create novel, highly virulent and transmissible pathogens against which there is no human immunity are unethical.
This adds to the points that COVID is one of the many viruses that were created in a lab. 

Also, late in 2019, one of the Wuhan Institute of Virology's zoologist mentioned in a rare press interview that the COVID-19 virus has been created in a lab. 

I hope these are enough points to prove that COVID-19 had been created accidentally in a lab
This argument is dumb. He quotes a article stating that creating diseases is UNETHICAL not plausible. This does not support CON's case at all. 

CON also fails to provide evidence for the press interview. However, I have found it here and also found this:

However, Yuan Zhiming, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, had previously declined all these allegations.
Despite China's secrecy, I do not believe they would lie in this blatant matter about something international.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, I hope I had disproved CON's case.

VOTE PRO
Con
Forfeited
Round 3
Pro
As my opponent has forfeited R2, and may not provide any new arguments in R3, I deem this a victory. 

CONCLUSION:

  • The World Health Organization dismisses this theory with pronouncements by top scientists.            
  •  I have provided evidence opposing this:
paper posted online earlier this month chiefly by researchers at France’s Institut Pasteur and under consideration for publication in a Nature journal, however, reports that three viruses were found in bats living in caves in northern Laos with features very similar to SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19.
-------------------
As Nature reported, those viruses are “more similar to SARS-CoV-2 than any known viruses.”
------------------
Another paper, posted in late August by researchers from the Wuhan lab, reports on viruses found in rats also with features similar to those that make SARS-CoV-2 infectious in humans. Two other papers published on the discussion forum virological.org present evidence that the virus jumped from animals to humans at more than one animal market in Wuhan, not just the Huanan seafood market.
-----------------
Given that these so-called wet markets have long been suspected as transmission points of viruses from animals to humans because they sell potentially infected animals, that makes the laboratory origin vastly less likely, according to a co-author of one of the papers.
----------------
“That a laboratory leak would find its way to the very place where you would expect to find a zoonotic transmission is quite unlikely,” Joel Wertheim, an associate professor at UC San Diego’s medical school, told me. “To have it find its way to multiple markets, the exact place where you would expect to see the introduction, is unbelievably unlikely.”
---------------
As virologist Robert F. Garry of Tulane, one of Wertheim’s co-authors, told Nature, the finding is “a dagger into the heart” of the lab-leak hypothesis.
  • I have defeated CON's arguments with evidence and logic:
 
The Hindu Business Line claims in an article it published on November 7th:
The lab leak theory was more plausible. The bats that arehosts to the Covid-19 virus live in the Yunnan caves in Southern China, more than 1,000 miles away from Wuhan, home to several microbiology labs, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

This paragraph mentions that the bats that are claimed tohave started the virus lived in caves near Yunnan are more than 1000 miles awayfrom Wuhan, so it is unlikely that bats are the main cause of COVID-19, if it,indeed originated from Wuhan. However, Wuhan has a lot of microbiologylaboratories, the Wuhan Institute of Virology is one of them. 

CON here focuses on only one of my quotations. A deeper look at it would have revealed:
Another paper, posted in late August by researchers from the Wuhan lab, reports on viruses found in rats also with features similar to those that make SARS-CoV-2 infectious in humans. Two other papers published on the discussion forum virological.org present evidence that the virus jumped from animals to humans at more than one animal market in Wuhan, not just the Huanan seafood market.
This observation that the disease has been noticed in rats and other animal markets defeats CON's argument. 

In a CIDRAP paper published by the University of Minnesota, it says:

In it, we argue that recent experiments that create novel, highly virulent and transmissible pathogens against which there is no human immunity are unethical.
This adds to the points that COVID is one of the many viruses that were created in a lab. 

Also, late in 2019, one of the Wuhan Institute of Virology's zoologist mentioned in a rare press interview that the COVID-19 virus has been created in a lab. 

I hope these are enough points to prove that COVID-19 had been created accidentally in a lab
This argument is dumb. He quotes a article stating that creating diseases is UNETHICAL not plausible. This does not support CON's case at all. 

CON also fails to provide evidence for the press interview. However, I have found it here and also found this:

However, Yuan Zhiming, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, had previously declined all these allegations.
Despite China's secrecy, I do not believe they would lie in this blatant matter about something international.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, I hope I had disproved CON's case.

VOTE PRO

This debate was pretty mediocre and inactive, but nonetheless, thanks for participating!

VOTE PRO
Con
Forfeited